Ulysses, by James Joyce, was on my reading list for years. I have always been determined that someday I would read it, difficult book or not. Last year I started it.

I got about a third of the way through, then I put it down. It was an exhausting process. I don’t have a good enough grounding in Greek mythology to get all the allusions, although I did pick up a lot of the echoes of Shakespeare. I still haven’t picked it back up again, and you know what? I’m not going to. I am going to pull out the bookmark and put the book into the next charity bag. It is the third time in my life I have stopped reading a book part way through with no intention of finishing it.

The first was Ghormenghast. I would have finished that, but my timing was either good or bad, depending on your point of view. They put the mini series on TV just when I was a third of the way through, and once I had seen that I was less inclined to finish the book. The second was Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse. I got halfway through and realised I just didn’t care what happened next. Ulysses has joined a short list, but I expect the list will grow as I no longer feel the need to finish a book just because I started it.

Something I thought I could do is write a review. I have decided to review the book, using only sentences found in the book itself. Clever, eh?

So, here is my review of Ulysses, by James Joyce:

Life’s too short. Simples.


About planetcoops

Living a busy family life in a beautiful place with a hundred and one things to be achieved.
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4 Responses to Ulysses

  1. Karen says:

    Good plan, some books just aren’t worth the effort. I have plenty of books on my shelf waiting for me to pick them up, I just don’t seem to find the time to even start them.

  2. just Gaij says:

    I think you’re very wise. I suspect that it was being forced to read set texts at university that put me off reading for many years afterwards. Reading groups can have the same effect. It takes courage to give up on a book, especially one as renowned as Ulysses. My bete noire was A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, another tome.

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